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Black and White and Absolutely ALL OVER

March 4, 2010

Most of my life things have been pretty much black or white, right or wrong, either/or. To some extent, this is still the case with me. I’m a pretty black and white sort of person. Right is right and wrong is wrong. My version of right, or at least the one I had learned somewhere along the way, was the right version. Your version was wrong if it didn’t align with my version. This worked pretty well most of the time, and probably kept me out of a lot of trouble. That doesn’t mean I always CHOSE what I knew to be right. Sometimes I chose to do what I believed to be wrong because I desired it more than I desired to do what I knew to be right. It was simply a matter of weighing the benefits against the consequences to see which one would win. Fear of consequences usually won, but not always. The times when desire overcame fear did occasionally come along, and when they did, I was usually blessed, even when some negative consequences were inflicted.

A few years ago, the lines between black or white and right or wrong began to blur as my typically left-brained analytical self began to open up and see things as part of a bigger picture. Connections and inter-relatedness began to trump details, rules, and absolutes. Many ideals that had always been accepted as just “how it is” began to lack the element of common sense. Thoughts would occur to me such as, “…if this is true, then how can this other not be true?” I had begun to see possibilities when previously only absolutes had existed. Black and white was all over.

It certainly hasn’t been an easy journey. Most people like absolutes as long as they serve their purpose. Anyone who questions those absolutes is a bit of a troublemaker. Stirring the pot is not a highly regarded gift in most social circles, especially religious ones. Since religion was where my blacks and whites had been strongest, that’s the cauldron that has been the primary target of my stirring and the source of much of my personal stress. As such, it affects my wellness and earns its place as a post on this blog.

I am certainly not the first to be gifted with the opportunity to see the world through a wider, clearer lens. Gallileo had his problems dealing with the status quo of the religious world. He landed in some serious hot water over his whole “earth isn’t the center of the universe” theory. He was almost killed for that one. The knowledgeable women of Salem, Massachusetts, discovered that their herbal and healing expertise was grounds for being subjected to the infamous witch trials, complete with false witnesses. If they died they weren’t a witch, but if they lived they were a witch and would be put to death. That one resonates with the …ahem… quite logical methods of our own FDA and a few other government agencies <stated tongue in cheek of course>.

And of course, the most famous casualty of all was Jesus Christ. What an amazing human with an amazing connection to deity. So much good stuff is contained in his story: Way more than most people who claim to be his followers will allow themselves to recognize. He, too, was eliminated by those who sought to maintain their existing traditions and protect “their people” from this supposed blasphemous man. His crime was one of showing followers what he knew to be the truth about the Divine. He taught people to live a life of love rather than one of rules, rituals, and fear. Fortunately for us, he had the power to take up his life again once he had allowed himself to be killed.

How many times do we lock ourselves into a world of absolutes – black or white, right or wrong – because of the teachings and traditions we have been taught in fear? If instead, we would look at the bigger picture and see the abundance of mysterious and amazing evidence in world around us, much of our stress would fall away. Life would be filled with so much more love and so much less fear. My challenge to you is to release your fear and embrace that which offers love. In each situation, ask, “Is my reaction to this coming from a belief rooted in love or a belief rooted in fear?” Let’s loosen the grip on black and white and see things through the eyes of possibility. As we do, we invite more wellness into our lives in the form of love.

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